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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Dprk Nuclear

VZCZCXRO9280
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #2344 2400227
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 270227Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6828
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
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RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA// PRIORITY
RUHBANB/OKINAWA FLD OFC US FORCES JAPAN CP BUTLER JA PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/USFJ PRIORITY
INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 9560
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 1923
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 7703
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 0140
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 3300
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 5059
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2503
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 1051
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1380
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 002344

SIPDIS

STATE FOR I/RF, PA/PR/FPC/W, IIP/G/EA, EAP/PD, R/MR,
EAP/J, EAP/P, PM;
USTR FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
TREASURY FOR OASIA/IMI;
SECDEF FOR OASD/PA;
CP BUTLER OKINAWA FOR AREA FIELD OFFICE;
PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO JA
SUBJECT: TOKYO MEDIA REACTION - DPRK NUCLEAR
DEVELOPMENT AND RUSSIA-GEORGIA CONFLICT

1. LEAD STORIES: North Korea's announcement that it has
halted nuclear disablement, as well as Russia's
recognition of two rebellious regions of Georgia as
independent states, received front-page coverage on
Wednesday.

2. "Brinkmanship Cannot Be Accepted" The liberal Asahi
editorialized (8/27): "Members of the six-party talks
other than North Korea are united over the necessity of
verifying its nuclear declaration. Pyongyang's
conventional approach of using brinkmanship to demand
concessions is no longer acceptable. The six-party
agreement promises many benefits for North Korea, such
as diplomatic normalization with the U.S. and Japan and
economic and energy assistance. North Korea's rejection
of this framework would not serve its interests."

3. "DPRK Determined to Preserve Nuclear Programs" In
his front-page commentary, the conservative Sankei's
Seoul correspondent Kuroda wrote (8/27): "The most
pressing task concerning North Korea's denuclearization
involves the issue of verification and inspection.
Pyongyang has already displayed strong opposition on
this core issue. Rejection of verification and
inspection would mean that Pyongyang is not considering
denuclearization but aims to preserve its nuclear
programs. The DPRK is fully aware that it would be
ignored if it were to surrender its nuclear option.
This latest action (by North Korea) makes clear once
again that its denuclearization will not be possible
through negotiations and concessions but only through
regime change."

4. "Russia Shows Tougher Stance Toward NATO" On Russian
President Medvedev's decision to recognize South
Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states, the
moderate Yomiuri's correspondent reported from Moscow
(8/27): "His decision crossed a threshold set by the
U.S. and Europe for preserving the territorial
integrity of Georgia. Russia appears unhesitating about
clashing head-on with NATO."

5. "Russia Will Not Gain Anything from International
Isolation" The business-oriented Nikkei insisted in an
editorial (6/27): "Isolation would not serve Russia's
interest. First, Russia's democratization, development
of a market economy, and coordination with the
international community in the post-Cold War years
would come to naught. Second, foreign investment would
dry up, exposing the vulnerability of the Russian
economy, which is dependent on energy exports. Moscow
should take note that the ruble and its stock market
have plunged following the conflict with Georgia....
Russia's reasons for maintaining troops in Georgia
would disappear if the international community were to
establish a peacekeeping mechanism in South Ossetia.
The U.S., Europe, and Russia should swiftly look for a
compromise at the UN Security Council in order to
achieve a complete withdrawal of Russian forces."

ZUMWALT

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